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The use of a strong position.

One of the least studied ways of organizing the text and making the most important things stand out most effectively is placing them into a strong position that is making them prominent by the fact that the reader finds them in the title, in the epigraph, in the first lines or in the closure of the text. The great informative value of beginning and conclusion is determined by psychological factors.

The title, for instance, plays an important part in providing a clue to the meaning of the whole, being the starting point of a chain of expectations that tune the reader's mind to what he perceives.

The title may point out the main idea and the theme of the book, either directly or by an allusion. "Vanity Fair" by W.M.Thackeray receives its title from "Pilgrim's Progress", an allegory of the 17th century, where Vanity Fair, is a fair perpetually going on in the allegorical city of Vanity. The title of Theodore Dreiser's "An American Tragedy" is more or less self-explanatory.

Another class of titles focuses the reader's attention on the main character or characters. There are many subclasses. The most obvious is giving the hero's name: "Jane Eyre", "Tom Jones", “Eveline”, “Jane”, “Hubert and Minnie” etc. There are more complicated forms. "Sense and Sensibility" and “Pride and Prejudice” give a metonymical characteristic of the protagonists.

There are titles giving a generalized description of several characters: "Sons and Lovers" by D.H. Lawrence, "Wives and Daughters" by Gaskell.

A title may give prominence to the scene of action as in "The Mill on the Floss", receiving a symbolic value for some reason or other, or to the sphere of life depicted as in "The Corridors of Power" by C.P. Snow or "Airport" by A. Hailey.

The decoding of the title may be a simple matter, as in "The New Men" by С. Р. Snow or "The Young Lions" by I. Shaw, but sometimes it may demand some keen observation in the process of reading. "The Catcher in the Rye" is a rather complicated and distorted allusion to a poem by R. Burns "Coming through the Rye". Its significance for Holden Caulfield's image is revealed only gradually. Holden sees himself as one who catches in the rye the innocent children, who, when playing in a rye field, are in danger of falling over the edge of a cliff that they do not notice. Characteristically, Holden has misunderstood the words of the song. This makes the reader feel that the boy's vision of himself is childish and pitiable, and helps to grasp Holden's attitude to the world of phoniness and hypocrisy, his need for honesty and love.

22.12.2014; 01:48
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